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Posts from the ‘Rogue Ales’ Category

Stringing And Staking Our Hops

Just a few days into spring and we’re starting our first big chore of the season – stringing and staking our 42-acre hopyard. The job requires nearly a dozen farmhands and days of back breaking work. But if you want to grow your own beer, this is what you got to do. It starts with the string…

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The string is called coir, a biodegradable twine made from Sri Lanka cocoanut husks.

Coir is a perfect climbing material for hop bines. Growers in Oregon’s Willamette Valley have been using it for decades. Farm hands ride high in the hopyard, tying one end of the string to the trellis wires.

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And letting the other end fall to the ground.

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Right behind them comes another crew.

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Pushing the strings deep in the soil and staking them tight.

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The work continues all this week, come rain or shine. When we’re done we’ll have strung and staked 253 miles of coir across all 42 acres. Now we’re ready for the hops to grow.

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A strung and staked hopyard at Rogue Farms.

How important is stringing and staking? Without strings, hops are a weed that ramble across the field. With strings, hops climb off the ground, away from moisture and bine killing fungal diseases. Strings allow them to seek out the sunshine they so desperately crave during the growing season, and to produce cones filled the precious lupulin which gives beer its bitterness and aroma.

Because of strings, a weed becomes a crop.

Come to Rogue Farms this week and see how we string and stake the seven varieties of hops we grow for Rogue ales, lagers, porters, stouts, meads, kolsch and braggots. Join the Revolution!

roguefarms grow the revolution

Hops, Hogs And Holidays

Join us for our final blow out party of the year, Hops, Hogs & Holidays, this Saturday at Rogue Farms in Independence, Oregon.

It’ll be a day of Holiday crafts, live music, a visit by Santa and we’ll wrap it up with a big ham feast. Please see below for more information, or call Rogue Farms at 503-838-9813.

Hops Hogs Holidays Poster

Where Great Beer Comes From

Our friends at the Grand Hotel in Salem, Oregon are helping us spread the word about the GYO/DIY Revolution. Click on the image to read what they said about Rogue Farms and be sure to vote for us in the USA Today/10Best contest for Best Brewery Tour.

Where Great Beer Comes From

Winter Storm Postcards

We’re in the middle of our first big winter storm of the season at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley, and the falling snow and low hanging clouds have created a beautiful scene of solitude and silence. It’s as if the rest of the world had suddenly disappeared.

The Risk™ malting barley fields appear to be doing okay. No signs of cold damage, at least not yet. With snow on the ground, we can relax knowing that our barley will remain protected from any further damage as it sleeps under its big, white blanket.

We like to think our farm in Tygh Valley is beautiful any time of year, but winter is somehow special. We hope you enjoy the photos as much as we do.

One of our fields of Risk malting barley.

One of our fields of Risk™ malting barley.

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Do It Yourself: From Cornfield to Floor Malt

In our previous post we talked about the difficulties we had finding someone to harvest our Wigrich Corn. With time running out, we picked the entire five acres ourselves by hand.  It was a hard and dirty job but it had to be done or the crop would go to waste.

Today our corn crop is at the Farmstead Malt House at Rogue Farms in Tygh Valley.  Now it’s time to shuck the corn to prepare it for malting.   The machines we bought to shuck the corn for us, let us down. So we were left with only option, to shuck our like farmers did centuries ago.

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When All Else Fails, Do It Yourself

One of the perils of being a farmer is that things often don’t go as planned.

Case in point, our five acre patch of Wigrich Corn.  We started looking for someone to harvest our corn back in July, not long after we planted it, and kept searching for four months but found no takers.  “Five acres is too small,” they all told us.

By the end of October we were feeling a little bit desperate, so rather than letting our first crop of Wigrich corn go to waste in the field we decided to pick it ourselves by hand.

We began picking under dreary November skies.

We began picking under dreary November skies.

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Oregon Hops, The Beginning

The history of Oregon hops begins in the dirt just a few miles south of Rogue Farms in Independence.

The year was 1867. Farmers Adam Weisner and William Wells planted the state’s first commercial hopyard near the small town of Buena Vista. For reasons that are unknown to us, the first crop was a failure. But their attempts to grow hops caught the eye of Eugene area farmer George Leasure. Using rootstocks from Weisner and Wells, he started Oregon’s first successful hopyard two years later on the banks of the McKenzie River.

A Willamette Valley hopyard in 1900. From Oregon State University.

A Willamette Valley hopyard in 1900. From Oregon State University.

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Beer From The Farm

Check out this story about Rogue Farms in the latest Modern Farmer. Beer and spirits begin on the farm!

Modern Farmer Screenshot

A Real Nut Job

Waiting for a hazelnut harvest is all about patience.

The nuts began falling from the trees nearly a month ago. But we have to wait until there’s enough nuts on the orchard floor before the harvest can begin. The timing is entirely in the hands of Mother Nature.

This week Mother Nature said, “Let’s go.”

Hazelnuts begin falling in early September as the nights get cool and the winds grow stronger.

Hazelnuts begin falling in early September as the nights get cool and the winds grow stronger.

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Foggy Morning Hopyard

We woke up this morning to find the hopyard shrouded in fog and thought it was so stunning we just had to snap these photos.

Fall is here and winter is coming. Each season here at Rogue Farms is different and beautiful in its own way.

Hopyard

Hopyard

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